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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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RULE 15. PANEL HEARINGS

The chair of the hearing panel shall convene a hearing at a place within the circuit within forty-five (45) days of assignment by the circuit chair and at least thirty (30) days after giving notice to the parties by first class mail, with proper postage affixed, unless otherwise agreed by all parties and the panel members.  The notice shall inform the parties that the hearing is de novo and that no reports or other information from the assigned member will be considered.  The notice also shall inform the parties that they may have witnesses present and may present documentary evidence and should present all evidence they expect to present at the hearing.

If the circuit chair determines that a hearing panel or panel member is delinquent in scheduling or attending a hearing, the circuit chair has the authority to reassign the whole panel or reassign one or more panel members.

If a party or a witness cannot, for any reason, be present at the hearing, a written statement shall be submitted which shall be the complete statement of the party or witness.  If a party fails to appear, then the hearing panel shall render its decision based on the available testimony and documentation.

Conduct of the hearings shall be pursuant to such rules and procedures as the Executive Council may prescribe.  While it is not necessary to follow strictly the rules of evidence as generally applied in circuit court, hearings should be conducted in conformance generally with them.  If the hearing cannot be completed within the allotted time, it may be adjourned by the panel chair and reconvened with no less than ten (10) days notice, unless the parties and panel members otherwise agree to a date and time certain.  

A party to a fee dispute may, at the party’s own expense, cause any hearing by the panel to be recorded and transcribed.  The tape recording of the hearing shall be the property of the Board.  If a party has a hearing transcribed, the party shall, at the party’s own expense, provide a copy of the transcript to the Board.

Last Amended by Order dated September 7, 2007.